posted by dave on Sunday, August 29, 2004 at 10:55 PM in category ramblings

I've found myself thinking about my life in terms of metaphors lately. I was comparing some of my recent past to being on a high wire, desperately flailing my arms, afraid (for good reason) to fall in either direction for despair awaited on both sides. This is the worst situation to be in, but it's not the only type of balance I'd had to maintain in my life while dealing with people - especially those of the fairer sex.

When I was young I walked a line painted on the ground. There was no real penalty - other than embarrassment - for stepping off the line. I could just get right back and try again.

A few times I've found myself approaching a cliff's edge, where I could either risk falling or simply turn around and be safe. I've tried both options with varying results. I say varying but here I sit single so I guess the variance was mostly a matter of how long of a drop I had during those times when I did fall.

My marriage was akin to a ledge on the side of a tall building. I knew that if I jumped there would be pain, but I couldn't really stay where I was forever either. Eventually I jumped and, despite the pain I suffered on landing, I'm certainly better off now that I'd be if I were still standing on that ledge.

And now I'm back to my high-wire. Winds buffet me from either side, and every now and then some jerk starts jiggling the wire. He wants me to hurry up and do something so he can have his turn.

The outlook does not look rosy. I could fall to one side and lose what little I have. I could fall to the other side and gain much more - only that side leads to eventual almost certain doom as well. It's just a longer drop on that side. One that I may not survive.

So what I try to do is what we pretty much all try to do at one time or another. I'm buying time. I'm trying to keep walking, as the abyss on either side gets deeper and deeper, and I hope that the wire will eventually get wider. Or that someone will provide a safety net so I can let myself fall and see what happens.

Which way would I fall? That depends on which way the wind is blowing.

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